Friday, September 29, 2023
HomeGlobalMass goodbye to Berlusconi in Milan

Mass goodbye to Berlusconi in Milan

There were a few minutes to three in the afternoon when the funeral procession with the mortal remains of Silvio Berlusconi, who died on Monday at the age of 86, a victim of leukemia, arrived at the Duomo square in Milan while the thousands of followers of the former prime minister Italian congregated hours before applauded and shouted «Silvio! Silvio!». At the same time, the ‘tifosi’ of AC Milan and Monza, the two football clubs it has controlled, waved their flags shouting: “A president! There is only one president!” Although he always resisted leaving the front line, if the tycoon dreamed of an exit from the scene, it would not have been very different from the one he received this Wednesday in Milan, the city where he grew up and began his fortune until he became the most influential person in Italy. of the last three decades. He achieved it with his success in the world of business, the media and politics, leading the Executive of Rome during three different legislatures.

Berlusconi said goodbye with a state funeral surrounded by supporters of his party, Forza Italia (FI), and fans of the soccer teams he loved. He was also paid a final tribute by members of the Government of Giorgia Meloni, of which FI is a part, and of the country’s highest institutions, headed by the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella.

International leaders also participated in the funeral, the most important of them Viktor Orbán, Hungarian Prime Minister. No other European country was represented by a Head of State or Government, opting overwhelmingly to send their ambassadors. Yes, the president of Iraq was present, whose death caught him in the middle of an official visit to Italy, and the emir of Qatar. The community institutions were represented by the Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, and there was no shortage of leading figures from the world of football, business and the Italian media.

The Archbishop of Milan, Mario Delpini, who presided over the ceremony, considered Berlusconi “a political man and a businessman”, which earned him “admirers and detractors”. “He has been a man: a desire for life, a desire for love, a desire for joy,” said Delpini, without wanting to judge the excesses that marked the deceased’s life. Once the funeral was over after just over an hour, the cheers of the magnate’s followers gathered in the square were repeated. Mattarella led the funeral procession out of the Duomo along with the five children of Berlusconi and Giorgia Meloni.


The mortal remains of the former prime minister are expected to be cremated and then deposited in the pharaonic mausoleum of his mansion in Villa San Martino, located in Arcore, a town on the outskirts of Milan where the private burning chapel was installed and from where the funeral procession. By opting for cremation, Berlusconi manages to circumvent the lack of permission to be buried in the monumental pantheon that he ordered a sculptor who was a personal friend of his to design thirty years ago.

The fact that the ex-president was fired with state funerals, a declaration of official mourning throughout the country and flags at half mast in official buildings was not liked by part of public opinion, which does not forget excesses and controversies. Nor is it how disastrous his last experience in power was, interrupted in 2011 to make way for a technical executive led by Mario Monti because Italy seemed on the verge of bankruptcy. That position was seconded by former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, top leader of the opposition 5 Star Movement, who was the only one of all the living former heads of Government who was not present at the funeral.

Recent posts